From 2014 UNCC Intern Taylor Shive 

           Everyone knows that it is much more difficult to get back into a workout routine than it is to fall out of one.  We start making excuses as to why we can’t go to the gym and before you know it, you have fallen out of your workout routine for months and even years. I myself have even fallen victim to these circumstances.

            During my senior year in high school I participated in varsity wrestling and baseball.  I wasn’t in peak physical condition at this time in my life but I was very involved in sports and worked out on a consistent basis.  Once baseball season ended and I graduated from high school, I attended Appalachian State University in the fall of 2008. Before the fall semester had even begun, I had already fallen out of my workout routine during the summer break. I went to the gym a couple of days out of the week when the semester started, but I didn’t perform anything too strenuous or challenging. As the semester progressed, my time spent at the gym diminished more and more until I stopped going altogether.

            In the fall of 2010 I had hit a low point in my life.  I was 6’4 160 lbs.  I had lost all of the muscle definition that I had gained through sports.  It was time to make some changes in my life because I was uncomfortable in the body I was living in.  I had spent so much time out of the gym that I honestly didn’t know how to go about getting back into a routine.

            It’s all about the small changes.  Yes we are all interested in achieving that large long term goal, but in order to get there you have to make small changes along the way.  It is basically the same concept as baby steps.  I wasn’t able to just immediately jump back into the gym and work out 5-6 times a week.  You have to make small modifications.  I started out going to the gym a couple days a week and as my body adjusted and got used to the workload I would add another day in when I was comfortable. Don’t overwork yourself when you are trying to get back into a routine.  This is a process, not just something that will happen overnight.  Set long-term goals, but also set up short-term goals that you can achieve along the way to stay motivated for that long-term goal.

            For me, the first couple weeks getting back into the gym were the most difficult for me to stay motivated.  I had become aware of how weak my body was from detraining over the years.  It was like a punch in the gut for me to let my body get to this point, but I never lost hope.  I was determined to make changes in my life and to never look back. Find your motivation, find what drives you and feed off that.  Find that special something that makes you want to push the extra mile.  At the end of the day, you are the one that has to make the changes to get the results you want.  Find that drive and use it for fuel during your workouts. 

            Even after only a few weeks of getting back into a routine, you will begin to notice changes.  These changes can be exhilarating.  The satisfaction you feel in knowing that all the hard work is paying off is indescribable.  This should fuel you to work even harder at achieving your long term goals.  Don’t ever lose focus; keep your eyes on the prize.

            It has now been 3 ½ years since hitting my low point.  I currently weigh 200 lbs and couldn’t be more comfortable in my own body.  My long-term goal is to get up to 215 lbs while still keeping a lean body frame.  I still know I have a long way to go but I know what I want and I’m not letting anything stand in my way.  The only thing that stood in the way of making these changes to my body was myself.

Find your motivation and set goals for your future. Remember, it’s the small changes that you make along the way that lead to achieving your long-term goals.  Set some short term goals along the way to stay focused.  Look for ways to improve and challenge yourself every day, make those small changes.  With challenge comes change.  Your body won’t adjust overnight, it is a process. To get the results you want you have to stay focused on making improvements every day that you train.  Don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way.  As the old saying goes you are your own worst enemy.